Monday, 13 January 2014

Tiny Neighbors Keep Coral Reefs Clean

Susan M. Reiss, National Science Foundation | January 10, 2014 01:58pm ET

Without the gobies' compulsive cleaning, the algae commonly known as turtleweed, can severely damage a coral reef through bleaching.

This Research in Action article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Who do you call when your coral-reef neighborhood starts going downhill? The goby fish. These inch-long, biotic hedge trimmers enjoy nothing more than removing toxic algae from the knobby skyscraper villages erected by Acropora coral. Good thing, too. Without the gobies' compulsive cleaning, the alga commonly known as turtleweed can severely damage a coral reef through bleaching.


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